A is for Aquidneck

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, and the theme reveal is here. I also wrote about this world in my blog post ‘This could be Kanata’.


A is for Aquidneck Island: On 28th September 1638, Samuel Hopkins and his congregation of Separatist settlers are welcomed by the Migisi clan mother, Klasina to discuss their needs, including land requirements. Klasina has called a gathering of local sachems or chief from various indigenous tribes. The Migisi are attempting to stop the spread of firearms. The Vikings, guided by the goddess Skaði, have learnt about the dangers of armed factions from their experiences in Europe, as well as encounters with the Iroquois League and the Council of the Three Fires. The native alliances acted as a nonaggression pact that provided their closely related bands or tribes with peace in their backyards but allowed them to fight outsiders. However, occasional unresolved disputes erupted into wars that the Migisi clan wish to restrict while encouraging the trade in goods that help the tribes thrive.

Samuel and his fellow Congregationalists are offered hospitality and invited to participate in their harvest celebrations. Samuel is stunned to discover that Klasina’s father was a Dutch trader that married her Migisi mother. When his religious morality questions this pagan-Christian alliance, he reminds himself, “If the church-burning Vikings have learnt to live with the natives, even inter-marry, then I must adjust my attitudes.” But will his soul be moved by the clan mother’s daughter, Kateri who wears a pagan bow pendant?  When he discovers that the bow is the symbol of her goddess Skaði that guided the Vikings to settle in Kanata, he is forced to remember that some Christians wear a plain cross around their necks. But that is not the way to show one’s faith.



Photo of the Miantonomoh Monument – Karen L. Houle (Wikimedia Commons)


In our timeline: WikipediaEnglish colonists first settled on present-day Aquidneck Island in 1638 in the region called by the natives “Pocasset” (meaning “where the stream widens”)… At one time, Aquidneck Island was controlled by the Wampanoags, whose leader was Sachem Massasoit. Traditionally, Massasoit greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621… A group of European settlers engaged Roger Williams in 1638 to negotiate the terms of their purchase of the island from a sachem named Miantonomi.

Aeon – In early Quebec, Jamestown and Plymouth, colonists held an advantage in firearms only for a handful of years before Native people began building their own arsenals… Except under the rarest circumstances, no one state authority had the ability to choke Indians off from guns, powder and shot… Native tribes competed furiously to control emerging gun markets. They knew that firearms were the new key to military and political dominance, and if they did not seize the opportunity, their enemies would. As a result, indigenous arms races erupted across North America… Indians saw the colonies as potential trade partners, especially for firearms, and new, powerful allies to direct against their Native rivals. https://aeon.co/essays/how-did-the-introduction-of-guns-change-native-america?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=77c10692cb-Daily_Newsletter_13_October_201610_12_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-77c10692cb-68908769

In our timeline, the Europeans encouraged the conflicts between the tribes, in certain cases resulting in tribes being decimated and their lands acquired often by Europeans.

Could an early Viking involvement, led by traders, not warriors, have influenced the ways that the indigenous people settled their disputes, especially 500 years before other Europeans arrived?


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